Release Date: September 16th, 2009 (TIFF)
Directed by: Michael J. Bassett
Written by: Michael J. Bassett
Based on: characters by Robert E. Howard
Music by: Klaus Badelt
Cast: James Purefoy, Max von Sydow, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Pete Postlethwaite, Mackenzie Crook, Alice Krige
Davis Films, Czech Anglo Productions , Wandering Star Pictures, Metropolitan Filmexport, Optimum Releasing, 104 Minutes
“If I kill you, I am bound for hell. It is a price I shall gladly pay.” – Solomon Kane
At times, this felt like two different films. I liked a lot of the stuff in this movie but it had issues with pacing and tonal shifts.
Still, this had some real badass moments and I loved the character design between Solomon Kane and the two big villains, Malachi and the Masked Rider.
The opening ten minutes or so of this film were great and got me excited for what was to come. However, after the intense and fantastic opening, things slowed to a crawl for quite awhile. The energy didn’t really pick back up until the Masked Rider appeared and started doing some evil shit. Man, he just looked sinister and cool as hell, almost like a powerful Sith thrown into a Robert E. Howard story.
Malachi also added a lot to the picture and was a nice antagonist for Solomon Kane, a hero that walks the line with one foot in Hell and the other on the side of God.
The ghouls were also pretty cool and provided a lot of intense moments, as did the ghosts in the mirrors and the big demon beast in the big finale.
I thought that the cinematography was good and the film is very well shot. It looks great, even in the moments were CGI is very prevalent.
I just wish that the film wasn’t bogged down by some of its inconsistencies.
Every part in the picture was well acted, though and that certainly boosted the overall quality of the film. James Purefoy was perfection as Solomon Kane and even if he’s not a widely known star, I can’t think of a bigger one that would’ve pulled off the character as well as he did. Frankly, I wish this had done better because I would’ve liked to have seen him return to the role for other movies. And maybe it’s not too late but it’s been almost a decade since this came out and I haven’t heard anything about a follow up. It’ll probably be rebooted sometime in the future.
I wasn’t sure what to expect before watching this. On one hand I was pleasantly surprised and on the other, I was bored for half the film. But the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
Pairs well with: other films featuring Robert E. Howard heroes: all the Conan movies, Kull the Conqueror, Red Sonja and other sword and sorcery films.